A research team at Asan Medical Center has proved that prediabetics have a higher risk of suffering from metabolic diseases, such as obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia.
The team, led by Professors Kim Young-sik of the Family Medicine Department and Kang Seo-young at the hospital’s International Medical Center, analyzed 13,625 adults with no history of diabetes among adults aged 30 years or older using the seventh National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The team divided the participants into five groups according to their fasting blood sugar levels — less than 90mg/dL, 90~99mg/dL, 100~109mg/dL, 110~124mg/dL, 125mg/dL or more group.
After analyzing the obesity and abdominal obesity ratio in the five groups divided according to the fasting blood sugar level, the team found that those with higher fasting blood sugar levels had a higher obesity ratio.
For men, the proportion of obese people with a fasting blood sugar of less than 90 mg/dL was 27.2 percent. However, these figures increased significantly for those with a fasting blood sugar level of 90-99 mg/dL (38.3 percent) and 110-124 mg/dL (55.2 percent).
The team observed a similar trend in women. In the group with a fasting blood sugar of less than 90 mg/dL, the proportion of obese people was 16.9 percent. And those with a fasting blood sugar of 90~99mg/dL and 110~124mg/dL had a ratio of 26.8 percent and 51.5 percent, respectively.
The researchers also found that blood pressure, triglyceride, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol index worsened as the fasting blood sugar level increased and confirmed an association between an increase in fasting blood sugar and a habit of excessive drinking.
In the group with a fasting blood sugar of less than 90 mg/dL, the share of heavy drinkers was 20.8 percent for men and 11 percent for women. However, in the 110-124 mg/dL group, it increased to 38.6 and 11.9 percent, respectively, indicating that excessive drinking had an adverse effect on blood sugar control.
While the controversy over the feasibility of the fasting blood glucose test in the current national health checkup continues, the research team expects that the study will provide evidence to support the usefulness of the fasting blood glucose test by proving the association between prediabetes and metabolic diseases.
“Cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, abdominal obesity, and dyslipidemia also increase if the fasting blood glucose level is 90 mg/dL or higher, a figure that does not correspond to diabetes,” Professor Kim said. “Therefore, people with a fasting blood glucose level of 90 mg/dL or higher should make efforts to prevent an increase in blood sugar.”
Obese people and those with a family history of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, or prediabetes should have a blood sugar test every year, Kim added.
Professor Kang said, “To properly manage blood sugar, patients need to pay attention to their daily lifestyles, such as diet and exercise.”
Journal of Diabetes published the study results in its most recent online edition.